North Koreans got treated to the country’s first-ever televised Western film this week: Bend It Like Beckham. News, soaps, and documentaries usually dominate the airwaves, and Western movies are restricted, the AP reports. The broadcast seemed to be an edited version of the Keira Knightley- and Jonathan Rhys Myers-led film; a banner that appeared during the film said it marked the 10th anniversary of North Korean-British ties, AOL News notes. The British embassy in Pyongyang reportedly helped to arrange the broadcast.
The movie, about a British Asian girl’s quest to succeed in soccer amid a culture clash, covers “issues such as multiculturalism, equality and tolerance,” said the British ambassador. “Apparently the people were amazed that a Western film was shown, and there has been a buzz around the country as the people have talked about the film and its content,” he noted. Soccer is huge in North Korea, and has provided a way for Britain to engage with the country.